NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Saints went from zero to 21 in Mercedes-Benz style against the hapless Indianapolis Colts on Sunday night at the newly named Superdome.
The Saints turned two Colts’ turnovers into touchdown passes of 14 and 4 yards from quarterback Drew Brees to wide receiver Marques Colston in the first 10 minutes of an eventual 62-7 victory.
Brees tacked on a third scoring pass of 6 yards to running back Darren Sproles with 42 seconds remaining for a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
By comparison, the Saints had scored just 34 points in the first quarter of their first six games.
The two takeaways also were a refreshing change for a Saints defense that had forced just four turnovers in the first six games, the third fewest in the 32-team league.
Each of their first six takeaways have ended in points for the Saints (five touchdowns, one field goal), who took over sole possession of first place in the NFC South by virtue of their lopsided victory and Tampa Bay’s 24-18 loss to the Chicago Bears in London.
The Saints scored on their first possession for the third time in the past four games when Brees threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Colston after the defense recovered a fumble by Colts quarterback Curtis Painter.
The Saints now have a 26-9 record when they score on their first series of a game since Sean Payton became their head coach in 2006.
With the touchdown toss to Colston, Brees has thrown at least one scoring pass in 34 consecutive games — a streak that dates to Oct. 18, 2009 when he had four against the New York Giants.
That streak is the third-longest in NFL history behind only Johnny Unitas (47) and Brett Favre (36). In his 34-game streak, Brees has 76 TDs.
Brees also had 31 completions against the Colts and now has at least 20 in 27 games in a row, extending his own NFL record.
Not dressing out for the Saints were defensive end Turk McBride (shoulder), tackle Zach Strief (knee), tight end David Thomas (concussion), strongside linebacker Will Herring (hamstring), wide receiver Adrian Arrington, cornerback Johnny Patrick, and quarterback Sean Canfield.
McBride was injured in the previous Sunday’s loss at Tampa Bay and missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, but worked limited on Friday. He was listed as questionable for the game, but was among the inactives announced 90 minutes before kickoff.
Addai up and down
Former LSU running back Joseph Addai started against the Saints after missing last week’s game with a right hamstring injury but played only the first two series.
Addai, a six-year veteran, apparently aggravated the injury and was held out as a precaution after the Saints jumped out to a quick 14-0 advantage. Addai finished with two carries for 8 yards and had 11 yards on two receptions.
Nevis sits out
It was a bad day for another former LSU standout as Colts rookie defensive tackle Drake Nevis, a New Orleans native and graduate of John Ehret High School in nearby Marrero, missed his third straight game with a back injury.
Other inactives of note for the Colts were two starting offensive linemen — right guard Ryan Diem and left tackle Anthony Castonzo. Both were out with ankle injuries.
Quarterback Peyton Manning was also out as he continues to recover from two neck surgeries.
By the numbers
62 — Points scored by Saints in Sunday night’s win over the Colts, establishing a franchise record. They already had 41 with 9:16 left in the third period, topping the total they had in a 40-33 win over the Houston Texans in Week 3.
The Saints had 557 total yards in the game, reaching the 500-yard mark for the second time this season and 10th time under Payton. … In one of the few things that went wrong Sunday night, the Saints lost the coin toss again and are now 0-for-7 this season. … Wide receiver Reggie Wayne, a native of New Orleans, was one of the Colts captains. … The Southern University marching band provided the halftime entertainment, which, as usual, began with the band members lining up to form the halftime score of 34-7.
Sheldon Mickles and Brian Allee-Walsh contributed to this report.